This Ad’s Hilarious View of Motherhood Comes From the Makers of Squatty Potty’s Pooping Unicorn

The Harmon Brothers pitch Chatbooks

Headshot of T.L. Stanley

Don't pity the matriarch of this chaotic household, even though her kids are jumping off the roof, shooting arrows through the living room and tossing silverware down the disposal. Just listen to her when she gives you some advice on simplifying your life. Because if anyone should know a good time-saving app when she sees one, it's this delightfully unflappable gal.

That's the philosophy behind the new digital campaign for Chatbooks, a Utah-based subscription photo book service that's making its national ad debut this week with paid buys on Facebook and YouTube.

The four-minute spot, from viral video mavens the Harmon Brothers, introduces a woman who's "not a frazzled mom—she's a real mom," says Rachel Hofstetter, CMO of Chatbooks and ex-editor of Oprah's O magazine. "Instead of getting stressed about all the crazy stuff going on around her, she just goes with the flow. She's the best friend you wish you had."

And she's telling you about a modestly priced way to capture your family's everyday moments in photo books that you don't have to format, design and create yourself. (Come on, only a "freak mom" has those kinds of leisure hours, our heroine says).

The video, rolling out with a red carpet premiere-style event in Provo on Monday, stars actress-comedian Lisa Valentine Clark. Writers include Dave Vance, who was the lead creative on the Harmon Brothers' Squatty Potty pooping unicorn spot (an ad that has nearly 120 million views to date on YouTube and Facebook).

This is the Harmon Brothers' first work for Chatbooks, a startup co-founded by Vanessa Quigley, a mother of seven children, that has sold 1 million photo books in its first 18 months without advertising.

"Done is better than perfect" when it comes to scrapbooking, Hofstetter says, and the company wanted some educational elements in the video without the typically dry infomercial tone.

"You keep learning why you would want to do this, but the jokes carry you along," she says. "We laughed so hard when we saw it. We said, 'That's it. That's her.' "

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.